Sharm el-Sheikh, 12 November 2022: The Soft Commodities Forum (SCF), composed of six major agribusinesses - ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO International, Louis Dreyfus Company and Viterra - is at the forefront of mobilizing partnerships that identify, invest in and scale solutions to eliminate deforestation and land conversion from soy production, and incentivize sustainable land use in Brazil and beyond.
To administer and direct funds in the most strategic way, the SCF has created the Farmer First Clusters Initiative to provide a combination of solutions to address soy-driven deforestation and conversion in four key Cerrado landscapes: Western Mato Grosso, Southern Maranhão, Western Bahia, and Tocantins.
Through this endeavor, SCF members will collectively invest USD $7.2 million to establish a financial model providing soy producers with adequate incentives to halt deforestation and conversion in municipalities where the risk of conversion is high. The initiative works through six solutions, clustered according to local realities:
- Payments for Surplus Legal Reserve
- Technical Assistance for Sustainable Production and Forest Code Compliance
- Restoration of Degraded Areas
- Integrated Farming (Livestock, Agriculture and Forestry)
- Expansion of agriculture over pastureland
- Green Finance
Combined, these solutions form a landscape strategy that places producers and local communities at the heart of the decision-making process. As consumer countries establish new legislation for commodity imports and their links to deforestation, and as investments in sustainable land use grow, agribusinesses are uniquely positioned to channel resources from consumer markets downstream to producer upstream in support of more sustainable production.
The project will address 8 of the SCF’s 61 focus municipalities in its initial phase. SCF members will work collaboratively with upstream and downstream partners to strengthen landscape-level solutions that address deforestation and conversion drivers, provide incentives for restoration, safeguard human rights and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to the transformation of sustainable agrifood systems.
The partnership estimates that setting up the Farmer First Clusters's financial model requires USD $50 million and invites other food and agricultural value chain stakeholders to join in accelerating investments that benefit climate, nature and livelihoods.